Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blog Tour and Review: The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar

Thanks to Trish once again from TLC Book Tours for inviting me to be a part of this tour.  Here is a description of The World We Found from the Harper Collins website:

The acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven returns with a breathtaking, skillfully wrought story of four women and the unbreakable ties they share. 

As university students in late 1970s Bombay, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta were inseparable. Spirited and unconventional, they challenged authority and fought for a better world. But much has changed over the past thirty years. Following different paths, the quartet drifted apart, the day-to-day demands of work and family tempering the revolutionary fervor they once shared. 

Then comes devastating news: Armaiti, who moved to America, is gravely ill and wants to see the old friends she left behind. For Laleh, reunion is a bittersweet reminder of unfulfilled dreams and unspoken guilt. For Kavita, it is an admission of forbidden passion. For Nishta, it is the promise of freedom from a bitter fundamentalist husband. And for Armaiti, it is an act of acceptance, of letting go on her own terms even if her ex-husband and daughter do not understand her choices. 

In the course of their journey to reconnect, Armaiti, Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta must confront the truths of their lives—acknowledge long-held regrets, face painful secrets and hidden desires, and reconcile their idealistic past and their compromised present. And they will have to decide what matters most, a choice that may just help them reclaim the extraordinary world they once found. 

Exploring the enduring bonds of friendship and the power of love to change lives, and offering an unforgettable portrait of modern India—a nation struggling to bridge economic, religious, gender, and generational divides—The World We Found is a dazzling masterwork from the remarkable Thrity Umrigar. 

My Review:
This novel is the first book I have read by Umrigar, but I can tell you it won't be my last.   The Weight of Heaven has been on my Kindle for quite some time, and if I didn't have to start my book club book next, I would definitely be reading that one.  It's not a secret that I enjoy books that give me a taste of another culture, and Umrigar did not disappoint in this respect.  Before reading this book I was unaware of the conflict between the Muslim and Hindu cultures in India that eventually led to devastating riots.

Our four lead characters were best friends in college that end up losing touch with each other as each one follows their personal happiness.  Armaiti marries a man who whisks her away to a life of luxury in America, while the other three are still in India, still find their lives drifting in opposite directions.  Armaiti has lived a privileged life in America, but when she is given life-threatening news from her doctor, a sudden desire is sparked to see her long-lost friends one last time.

When I read the summary I expected the book to be about the four friends being reunited once again.  But it was actually about the obstacles and personal dilemmas they had to endure that would allow them to be together.  They each have to confront their own demons and make peace with the choices they have made in this life that have turned them into the people they are today.

I did enjoy this novel, even though it took a different path than I had expected.  With themes of love, friendship, strength, and sacrifices, this truly was an amazing novel.  I think it would be a great selection for a book club or for personal leisure.  I don't hesitate in recommending this novel.

Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


bermudaonion said...

I adored The Weight of Heaven and really look forward to reading this book.

Alyce said...

I thought it was going to be about them reuniting too, but appreciated that it was deeper than that.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I can see how this would be a great book club pick - thanks for that recommendation.

And thanks for being on the tour!

Lisa said...

I was surprised, too, that we never got to the four friends being together. I think I would have liked that novel, too, but this one was good in a different way. Umrigar's characters can be a bit stereotyped but always to make a point and I always learn so much from her books.

Anonymous said...

I heardd Thrity speak this year and she was phenomenal. I still have the signed copy sitting in my shelf. Need to find more time to read!